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Cheer Leadership Tip 37 - Jumping Jacks

When you’re preparing to tackle a big project or are in the heat of the battle, it’s time for jumping jacks, combined with a battle cry! My football coach taught us in our pre-game warmup routine to follow a certain pattern of exercises led by our team captains. Near the end of the series of stretches, we would count our jumping jacks out loud in unison with the exception of the very last one. Instead of a typical numerical count-off at the end, we would flex our muscles, display our fiercest game face and growl like a pack of hound dogs! It inspired confidence within us and freaked out the other team with this unexpected “war cry!” You can instill this same spirit within your group. Research backs this up. One study showed that athletes who scream when exerting themselves show an 11 percent increase in power output!

Having a motto, short phrase or “battle cry” that every one of your crew can shout out with conviction will deepen their commitment to the cause and the company while building

courage to take on the sometimes seemingly impossible! In the front office, break room or out in the parking lot, gather the team for a good ol‘ pep rally with a battle cry! We want to cheer you on, so send us a video or your battle cry to

Did you know that screaming and yelling (in the appropriate context of course) can help relieve stress and frustration? In fact, some colleges actually encourage students to let out a “primal scream” to help relieve the stress of finals.

So many things about work can cause us stress - looming deadlines, neverending emails, paperwork stacking up, reports to be compiled, calls to return, the list goes on. According to the American Institute on Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job; nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help. All this stress leads to more accidents at work, more absenteeism, higher levels of turnover, decreased productivity, and higher medical costs due to a variety of medical ailments.

Having a productive outlet for stress at work is critical to maintaining a healthy team (physically and mentally). We know that words hold immense power. We can harness this power to help combat stress. Research has found that when someone’s language consists of positive words, it strengthens areas in the frontal lobes and promote the brain’s cognitive function, which jumpstart the motivational centers of the brain and build resiliency. One way to start using more positive words? Come up with a motto or phrase to use when the stress starts creeping in. Share it with those on your team so everyone can use the power of words to fight stress!

This week, I challenge you to brainstorm some potential mottos or phrases (you could even call it your battle cry or rallying cry) options for your team. Have your team members do the same. Take it a step further and challenge the leaders of other departments to a “battle cry battle off” where each group shares their battle cries and then the crowd favorite wins!

FUN FACT: “Dieu et mon Droit” which means “God and my right” is possibly the only battle cry to evolve into a national motto. It is believed that Richard Lionheart used this rallying cry at the Battle of Gisors in 1198. Henry V then made it the Royal motto of England, and it now appears on the Royal coat of arms.


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